Epiphany is a large-scale immersive theater, music, and visual installation, featuring music by Paola Prestini, Francisco J. Núñez and Sarah Kirkland Snider & performed by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City conducted by Francisco J. Núñez, YPC artistic director and founder.

exuberant…an extreme expression of female agency.” Art and Culture Today

magnificent drumming…successful experiment…pitched towards the ecstatic sense of wonder in the natural world…a showcase for lovely and refined music making by composers and performers alike.” Musical America

First performed at the BAM Fisher and now streaming to the Roman Amphitheatre in the City of London.Cast & Production


“While I thought I was learning how to live

I had been learning how to die.” (from Epiphany: Libera Me)

How does the unknowingness of death, life’s only certainty, influence our birth and life? How does death, when it does come, influence our life?

In an exuberant ode to life filled with live music, Epiphany sends its audience roaming through labyrinthine tunnels of video, light, and reflection to celebrate the ecstasies of existence. The Young People’s Chorus of New York City and a string quartet perform music by Paola Prestini,Francisco J. Núñez and Sarah Kirkland Snider,  with a surreal eight-channel video by Ali Hossaini. As 3D imagery pulsates with epic chronologies, Aztec, Zoroastrian, and Tibetan texts whirl in ritualistic constellations, merging with musical epiphanies that reveal the epic connectedness of all things.

Epiphany was commissioned by Jill Steinberg and the Young People’s Chorus of NYC.

Epiphany 5G Experience

On April 23rd, 2018 King’s College London, in partnership with Ericsson, will demonstrate the first global application of 5G – the next generation of connectivity – and its potential to transform the cultural sector in conjunction with the Young People’s Chorus of New York and National Sawdust. The Young People’s Chorus of New York City will perform live from National Sawdust in Brooklyn, NY alongside soloist Holly Brown live from Guildhall in London. The performance will be streamed into the Roman Amphitheatre in the City of London, and presented using innovative, immersive video and audio technology developed by King’s College London. Thanks to unprecedented speeds offered by 5G technology, audiences in London and New York City will simultaneously experience a cultural performance as though they were sitting side by side, in real time.


The Young People’s Chorus of New York City® (YPC) is a multicultural youth chorus internationally renowned not only for its superb virtuosity and brilliant showmanship, but as a model for an inclusive society that is being replicated globally. Founded 30 years ago by Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez on a mission of diversity and artistic excellence, this groundbreaking program harnesses the power of music to fulfill the potential of every child musically, academically, and socially and has established the youth chorus as a significant instrument for making music. More than 1,700 children participate annually in this internationally renowned program, which holds America’s highest honor for youth programs, a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.

Soloist Holly Brown is a 22-year-old Bachelor of Music Honors student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, with a repertoire that reaches across the opera, theater, and concert stages. She has sung in a variety of diverse productions, in performances that range from featured roles in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Gershwin’s Crazy for You, to concert performances in Rutter’s Requiem and the role of Lieschen in Bach’s Coffee Cantata.

Working at the cutting edge of art, technology, and business, Ali Hossaini’s video installations have been exhibited throughout the world, winning acclaim from The New York Times, which has called him a “biochemist turned philosopher turned television producer turned visual poet.” Dr. Hossaini is a multidisciplinary thinker whose activities span the arts, telecommunications and theoretical biology. He is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Informatics, King’s College London; a trustee of the Young Vic Theatre; and an associate of Lord Cultural Resources.

Francisco J. Núñez, a MacArthur Fellow and Musical America’s 2018 Educator of the Year, is a composer, conductor, visionary, leading figure in music education, and the artistic director/founder of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City(YPC). Since he founded YPC in 1988, Mr. Núñez has heightened an awareness of the ability of children to rise to unforeseen levels of artistry. Among his many other awards and honors, Mr. Núñez has received an ASCAP Victor Herbert Award and the New York Choral Society’s Choral Excellence Award. NYU Steinhardt presented him with its Distinguished Alumnus Achievement Award, and he holds an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Ithaca College.Paola Prestini is “the imaginative composer” (NY Times), “Visionary-In-Chief” (Time Out NY), Co-founder and Artistic director behind the Brooklyn venue National Sawdust. She was recently named an “Innovator” on the list of Top 30 Professionals of the Year by Musical America, the country’s oldest classical music magazine; she is on Brooklyn Magazine’s latest list of “influencers of Brooklyn culture…in perpetuity” alongside such household names as Chuck Schumer and Spike Lee; she is one of the “Top 35 Female Composers in Classical Music” (The Washington Post); and on the “Top 100 Composers in the World” list by NPR. Prestini’s music and works have been commissioned by and performed at The Cannes Film Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, BAM, the Barbican Centre, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, The New York Philharmonic, and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, among others. Since 1999 when she co-founded the multimedia production company VisionIntoArt while at the Juilliard School, (which is now merged with National Sawdust), she has collaborated with poets, filmmakers, conservationists and astrophysicists in large-scale multimedia works (often in collaboration with Beth Morrison Projects). New works include The Amazon, her newest eco-cantata with filmmaker Murat Eyuboglu (collaborator on the acclaimed The Colorado); two new works with Royce Vavrek: Old Man and the Sea, a new opera-theater work with Robert Wilson and cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, and Film Stills, a monodrama for mezzo Eve Gigliotti, director R.B. Schlather and Cindy Sherman; a new opera with poet Brenda Shaughnessy for Atlanta Opera; and Edward Tulane with librettist Mark Campbell, commissioned by Minnesota Opera. She was a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow, and studied with Peter Maxwell Davies, Samuel Adler and Robert Beaser at the Juilliard School.

Sarah Kirkland Snider, hailed as “one of the decade’s more gifted, up-and-coming modern classical composers” by Pitchfork and “a potentially significant voice on the American music landscape” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, writes music of direct expression and vivid narrative that has been hailed as “rapturous” by The New York Times, “haunting, piercing melancholy” by The Los Angeles Times, and “strikingly beautiful” by Time Out, New York. With an ear for both the structural and the poetic, Snider’s music draws upon a variety of influences to render a nuanced command of immersive storytelling. The Washington Post named her among today’s “Top 35 Female Classical Music Composers.”

Contact: Courtenay Casey (courtenay@nationalsawdust.org)

Photos © Jill Steinberg